Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 23, 2019 - Federal authorities are urging people to be on alert for a new telephone scam in which callers pretend to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Scammers have stolen millions of dollars by exploiting the trust that victims have in government agencies.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said the number of fraudulent calls from SSA impostors has climbed sharply over the past year. There were more than 76,000 reports filed about SSA scams in the 12 months ending in March. They totaled approximately $19 million in losses. Around 36,000 of the complaints and $6.7 million of the losses were reported in February and March alone.
“It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether a call from a federal agency is genuine,” commented Florida social security disability attorney David W. Magann. “However, you should remember that the SSA is not likely to contact you out of the blue. Generally it is best to be cautious and refrain from sharing any personal information if you get an unsolicited phone call asking for your Social Security number and financial details.”
The FTC warned people not to automatically trust the phone number on their caller ID screen. Scammers are known to use spoofing technology to manipulate caller IDS so that their calls seem to be from legitimate government phone numbers.
Aggressive scare tactics have been common in the latest scam. Fake callers tell potential victims that their Social Security number has been suspended due to suspicious activity or involvement in a criminal operation such as money laundering or drug trafficking.
The impostors then try to frighten victims by saying they must quickly withdraw money from their bank account in order to avoid arrest or prevent their assets from being frozen. Payments are typically requested as prepaid gift cards, digital currency or bank wire transfers.
The government is urging people to hang up immediately if they are contacted by anyone claiming to be from the SSA and asking for money. Those who receive scam calls should report them to the inspector general or FTC.
David W. Magann, P.A.
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175
4012 Gunn Highway #165
Tampa, Florida 33618